De Villiers shrugs off flight scare
ESPNscrum Staff
July 17, 2011
Springboks coach Peter de Villiers talks to the media, South Africa press conference, Shimla Park, Bloemfontein, South Africa, August 31, 2010
De Villiers is hoping that his side's recent scare will pull the players together © Getty Images

Springboks coach Peter de Villiers hopes that his side's recent flight scare will have a positive effect on their Tri-Nations campaign.

De Villiers and the rest of the squad were at the centre of a dramatic turn of events on Friday night when their scheduled flight to Australia for the opening leg of the Tri-Nations was forced to turn back due to engine failure. The flight from Johannesburg was forced to return to the OR Tambo International airport after one of the plane's four engines over-heated and subsequently failed less than two hours into the flight.

Consequently, the Boks did not arrive in Sydney until Sunday evening, 31 hours later than they had planned. However, de Villiers insisted that the players had already put the inconvenience behind them.

"We have obviously been disrupted but we have managed it and now we're just looking forward to getting back to preparing for a Test match on Saturday," he said. "That's our only focus now and it'll be good to get back onto the training ground on Monday."

Indeed, de Villiers believes that the whole episode might actually have a beneficial effect on his squad, arguing: "Things like this draw people closer together and hopefully that'll be the effect on this team."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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